Shoplifter took pliers to remove security tags in Falkirk store

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An unemployed chancer arrived tooled up to remove security tags from goods at Sports Direct but staff stopped his shoplifting spree.

Taylor Graham (24) actually pushed a member of staff at the Falkirk Central Retail Park store in an effort to get away. He was arrested and found to have goods which he stole from nearby shop Boots.

Appearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court yesterday, Graham , 7 Cockburn Crescent, Whitecross, had pled guilty to the thefts and the assault he committed on September 21.

Procurator fiscal depute Ann Orr said: “The accused was seen in the store, standing in the outdoor section of Sports Direct. He was seen putting security tags from items on display into a pair of trousers.

“He was stopped by staff who said they believed he had stolen items. He took out a pair of trainers from his bag and said ‘I made a mistake – can I leave now?’. He was asked if staff could look in the rucksack he had and he initially refused.

“He then produced a few football tops from the bag and said ‘here’s the stuff, you can have it back, just let me go’. The accused attempted to force his way past staff who were stopping him from leaving.

“He pushed one man in an effort to get out of the shop and police were contacted. He told officers ‘I shouldn’t have done it – I had a couple of tops in a bag, but I gave them back’.

“He was found to be in possession of a pair of pliers and tags which appeared to have been taken off items in the shop. He was also found to have a number of electrical items, baby powder and a baby monitor which were traced back to having been taken from Boots.”

The court heard Graham had been an apprentice bricklayer, but the firm he worked for had gone into administration and he was now unemployed. It was stated he had financial difficulties and also has issues with prescription medication.

Sheriff Simon Collins placed Graham on a supervised community payback order for 12 months with the condition he complete 160 hours unpaid work within four months.